FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A Northern Colorado community is looking to expand its smoking restrictions, and among the proposals in Fort Collins is a ban on the popular electronic cigarettes.
City staff is proposing five ways to make smoking restrictions tighter. One of those ideas is to ban smoking in Old Town Square because it’s a public, open spot that’s popular for people walking and shopping. The city also says current rules fail to address new technology.
Fort Collins already limits where smokers can light up. The new proposals would prohibit smoking both traditional and electronic devices in parks and on public trails.
“That’s just kind of weird because there’s really not a smell to those,” Fort Collins resident Chris Chauveau said.
“People smoking in public parks like this doesn’t bother me,” Fort Collins resident Diane Denna said.
“It’s kind of a trend that’s been happening and people are concerned and want to see some regulations there,” said Beth Sowder, Neighborhood Services Manager with the City of Fort Collins.
Sowder says surveys show 80 percent of people who live in Fort Collins support tighter restrictions and want clarity when it comes to e-cigarettes.
“It’s confusing. People aren’t sure, ‘Is that a real cigarette? Is it not? Is the vapor harmful to me? How come they’re allowed and regular smoking isn’t?’ ” Sowder said.
“It’s going to be a tough fight, I believe,” Fort Collins resident Scott Boissy said. “Outdoors is for everybody. You’d think it would be hard to enforce, I do believe it will.”
“I understand it in Old Town just because there are so many outdoor patios and people are outside eating and drinking; you don’t necessarily want to be around it,” Fort Collins resident Kailey Wilson said.
Before the council votes on the ideas, leaders want input. Those who would like to voice their opinions can attend public meeting this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at 215 North Mason Street in the community room.
The possible ban to smoking in Old Town Square is last on the city’s list, meaning the council would not vote on that idea until October. The council is set to discuss the banning of e-cigarettes this summer.
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